Formula 1: Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final Spa practice

Sebastian Vettel headed a Ferrari one-two in the final Formula 1 free practice session ahead of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix

Formula 1: Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final Spa practice

Kimi Raikkonen set the pace early on using supersoft rubber, setting a best lap of 1m43.425s 11 minutes into the one-hour session to outpace soft-shod Lewis Hamilton by a tenth of a second.

That lap time was not beaten until the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers headed out again on fresh supersofts, with Raikkonen improving his time to a 1m42.734s with 20 minutes remaining to consolidate top spot.

Vettel then slotted in behind him just 0.033s slower, with Hamilton a further 0.029s down.

Vettel then took top spot on his second push lap on the same set of supersofts with 15 minutes remaining, posting a 1m42.661s while Raikkonen only improved to a 1m42.724s moments before reporting a few spots of rain.

The final runs were delayed by a red flag with 10 minutes remaining, caused by Stoffel Vandoorne crashing on the Kemmel Straight.

Vandoorne, on a hot lap, closed on the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, which was still building up speed on an outlap, and moved to the left coming through the gentle right-hand kink on the Kemmel Straight.

Bottas drifted left and forced Vandoorne onto the grass, leading to the McLaren spinning across the circuit and lightly into the barrier on the opposite side.

The stewards will investigate the incident after the session, with Vandoorne saying over the radio "What the hell was that Mecedes doing? He pushed me on the grass."

Bottas admitted over the radio that "I didn't see him", having just the other McLaren of Fernando Alonso, who Vandoorne was getting a tow from, past.

The session was restarted with only two minutes remaining, with a long queue forming at the pitlane exit ready for the restart for the charge to get to start a flying lap.

In the hurry to get out, Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly spun joining the track through the right-hand corner at the pit exit.

Those towards the front of the queue got around quickly enough to get in a flying lap, although neither the Ferrari nor the Mercedes drivers were able to make attempts.

This ensured Vettel led Raikkonen for a Ferrari one-two, with Hamilton and Bottas ahead of fifth-placed Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver improving to a 1m44.048s after the red flag but not changing position.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, four-tenths slower than his team-mate, with Charles Leclerc consolidating seventh by improving late on and setting a time 2.302s off the pace.

Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 with their fastest times set earlier in the session on soft rubber.

Hulkenberg, who will start from the back of the grid thanks to a Renault power unit change yesterday, also took another new turbocharger ahead of this session.

Marcus Ericsson was the third and final driver to improve after the red flag, securing 11th place ahead of Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m42.661s - 13
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m42.724s 0.063s 15
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m42.798s 0.137s 10
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m43.464s 0.803s 13
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m44.048s 1.387s 10
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m44.479s 1.818s 13
7 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m44.963s 2.302s 12
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m45.341s 2.680s 10
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m45.464s 2.803s 17
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m45.485s 2.824s 13
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m45.536s 2.875s 11
12 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m45.814s 3.153s 12
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m45.925s 3.264s 13
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m46.087s 3.426s 12
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m46.182s 3.521s 16
16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m46.259s 3.598s 17
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m46.502s 3.841s 10
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m46.630s 3.969s 11
19 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m46.942s 4.281s 16
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m47.061s 4.400s 14

shares
comments
Force India F1 engine situation clarified, future prize money in doubt

Previous article

Force India F1 engine situation clarified, future prize money in doubt

Next article

Formula 1: Fuel gains worth 'over 20%' of Ferrari engine update

Formula 1: Fuel gains worth 'over 20%' of Ferrari engine update
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Author Edd Straw
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021